There isn’t an absolute scientific formula for determining the average lifespan of a dog, but most pups are cuddly companions for about a decade. According to the Guinness World Book of Records, the longest-living dog ever recorded was Bluey, an Australian cattle dog, who lived nearly 30 years!
Jerry Klein, DVM, is the chief veterinary officer of the American Kennel Club. He says research indicates larger dogs’ lifespan is approximately 7–10 years, and smaller dogs have a life expectancy of 13–16 years.
Klein adds that longevity, while primarily determined by genetics, is also impacted by lifestyle choices that influence how a dog (or a person) is ‘hardwired.’ “Wellness care is often extremely important for a quality, longer life,” Klein says. “By receiving an appropriate high-quality diet, getting proper and regular physical activity and mental stimulation, and with you adhering to the veterinary recommendations for annual or semi-annual wellness exams, your dog will be more primed to live a longer and healthier life.”
Vying for this top spot along with the Australian cattle dog is the official national dog of Mexico. Chis, as their loving owners often call them, are bright, curious, and full of spark and pluck. They’re extremely loyal, too.
If you’re also wondering about the shortest- and longest-living dog breeds, keep in mind that size can make a difference. The gentle Bernese mountain dog, usually between 60–110 pounds, lives an average of seven years, while the feisty Chihuahua, who weighs about 3–6 pounds, might be your pal for up to 18 years.
Standing nose-to-nose on the teensy chart with the Chihuahua is that spunky wisp, the Yorkshire terrier. The Yorkie is a popular choice among people who like smart and trainable pint-sized pooches with huge personalities. These tiny cuties average 11–15 years of sassy playfulness and oodles of affection.
The high-octane energy, acute intelligence, and strong work ethic of the Australian cattle dog makes him a long-living dog breed that's also great for people with an active lifestyle. It’s not uncommon for this loyal herding canine to be your best buddy for up to 16 years. Few breeds are happier with a job to do than this one, so make sure to give your Australian cattle dog lots of exercise and plenty of opportunities for both physical and mental enrichment to ensure he's living his best life.
Be she a wiener dog, doxie, sausage dog, weenie, or dashie, she’ll be yours for 12–16 years! That’s quite a while to love this tenacious, outgoing, and playful pooch. The dachshund breed is so revered, a dashie was the mascot for the 1972 Olympic Summer Games in Munich. And how many dog breeds have a museum dedicated just to them?
Who’s a handsome boy? Without a doubt, the noble and friendly Cavalier King Charles spaniel has earned his celebrity status as an adorable companion for kids, seniors, and other family pets. These long-living dogs can reach age 18 and love to run and play—but are also just as content to cozy up on the couch for a binge session of The Crown.
There’s really no such thing as a ‘hypoallergenic’ dog: there are only pooches with less reactive protein and shedding issues. But if you want a friendly and affectionate canine companion you can snuggle with few sneezes (hopefully), the bright toy poodle has a lifespan of 10–18 years. She’s such a cutie, the time will just fly by!
Don’t let those beautifully-groomed locks fool you. While a Lhasa apso is ready for any Insta-pose you want to put him in, this regal pooch was initially bred to guard Tibetan palaces and Buddhist monasteries. His confidence, playfulness, and loyalty will be yours to enjoy for 12–15 years.
If your child begs for a furry best friend, you really can’t go wrong with this adorable and gentle hound, as this dog’s lifespan is about 10–15 years. Endlessly popular, beagles have enough energy to keep up with even the most rambunctious kids! They’re also great small-game trackers for hunters in the field.
Another reduced-allergy companion might be this top snuggle pooch with an ancient lineage. Combining brains and beauty, Maltese dogs are some of the most affectionate pups you’ll ever know. Playful but not prissy, they’re easily trainable and will relish the opportunity to do tricks with you for 12–15 years.
Not quite as itty-bitty as a Chihuahua or Yorkie but just as spunky and clever, you might recognize the royal favorite papillon from trips to the art museum: Goya, Rembrandt, Rubens, and Toulouse-Lautrec frequently featured her in paintings. Averaging 14–16 years old, she’ll be a longtime companion.
SO much fluff on such a weensy body! At first glance, you’d never know Pomeranians were cousins of hearty Nordic sled dogs. While they might not be able to trek as far on their short legs, they’re still healthy and hearty—usually living 12 years or longer. Outgoing and playful, Poms are great dogs for first-time pet owners and are easy to train.
You can see it all over her face: the Australian shepherd is ready. For anything! These highly-intellectual and loyal working dogs excel at tasks, which is why many are livestock herders, competitive performers, and part of search-and-rescue and police teams. With a lifespan of 12–15 years, Aussies are excellent service dogs, too.
Who wouldn’t love such a unique pooch? Oh, the social snaps! Both hairless and ‘powderpuff’ varieties of Chinese crested dogs are sweet, attentive, and long-living canine companions, reaching at least age 13 but often into the higher teens. They don’t require a lot of exercise, but expect to spend much of their time with you ... and everyone else!
Put this terrier and an Australian cattle dog in an agility ring and wait for the fireworks! Few dogs can compete with the Russell terrier's speed and laser-sharp concentration, which is why it’s essential to keep lovable Russells active and engaged. If she’s going to live her best life to age 14, she needs a dedicated hooman to match her energy!